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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Variants

Subject: Maybe Torpedoes aren't the problem rss

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Scooter of the Ancients
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Photon Torpedoes. A staple of the Star Trek franchise. And yet, tragically under-used in this game we all play. If you ask 100 players, you'll probably get 100 different answers as to exactly why that is, and at least 50 different ideas on how to fix them, but there is a general consensus I believe the Photon Torpedoes just aren't the "go-to" weapon we'd all like them to be.

Here's a idea that I've not seen raised before though:

What if the problem isn't the Torpedoes, but the Target Lock action, and what you can do with it on your own.

To roll a one (maybe two in some cases) extra dice, you give up the ability to re-roll ANY or ALL of your attack.

Maybe the problem is Target Lock is just too powerful on its own.



So here's a mechanical variation I propose, for any interested enough to try it out.

Instead of Re-rolling as much as you want.... spending a TL just lets you Re-Roll ONE. No more. Makes you "slightly" more accurate instead of "way" more accurate.

IS the trade off of "re-roll 1" or "roll 1 more" a more compelling argument?
 
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Evan
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The thing is that right now, TL and BS are pretty close to each other in strength. TL is slightly better on attack, but can't be used on defense (and is persistent but can't be used against cloaked ships). So if you did that, you'd want to similarly nerf BS or people would just stop using TL except with secondaries (or on ships with no better option, which would be a lot weaker as a result).
 
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King of the Wood
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I think maybe allow 1 0r 2 dice to be rerolled from the target lock spent using the torps: so spend your lock to use your torps but as part of the attack the lock also gives you a 1 dice reroll. Simple to use and gives torps a nudge up.
 
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Jason Becker
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I always wondered why you had to use the target lock on secondary weapons like torpedeos....if it was just a hold over from X-Wing.

Why can't you launch a spread of torpedeos at a cloaked ship? Without a TL, you can't launch them at all. I kind of like the idea of a 5 cost torpedeo that fires (lets say) 3 or 4 dice, but if you spend a TL to fire, you get six dice and a blank gets turned into a hit.
 
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charles skrobis
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It's an interesting premise, but doesn't mix too well with everything.

So if I wanted to play species 8472 with their bioship, which has no crew slot for scan crew, and only a target lock for attack modifiers. Do I have to mix factions for a captain to handle damage, flagship it for the crew and get the extra die the torpedoes would anyways, or compare re-rolling one of the dice that will probably miss in favor of not getting the ship ability and adding a die for the same probability.

I'd also like to know what that would mean for the Romulan tactical officer, because if he can re-roll all the dice twice, is he getting majorly nerfed for this, or is he now one of the more valuable cards for such a rule?

Now then, if you're really looking for where torpedoes are most used, I find that they show up most often on ships with 3 primary weapon value or less. One of the crazier things the larger ships have torpedoes compete with is flagship, because why use torpedoes to throw the same dice with a minor effect, when you can base attack with a battle stations and possibly target lock or scan effects. But on ships like the Reliant, both plasma torpedoes and photon torpedoes are great with its 270 degree firing arc, a significant damage boost, and even if you flagship it, there's a large enough difference of 2 dice for their attacks.

So they just tend towards ships people don't tend to run anymore. On the other hand, i love to sit down in casual matches and see how much I can load onto some romulan science vessels and scout ships. From the cold storage that gives an additional weapons array, to the flagship for target lock to fire plasma torpedoes.

So I'd try running around in the smaller ship section where torpedoes are king, and then building up towards how that meshes with the larger ships that already do enough to not need them.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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We had a concept when testing an earlier version of the game to have torpedoes work as they do now OR have an option to fire at -2 dice attack power without the lock but get none of the special bonuses from the torpedo (so no reroll for plasma torps, no hit to crit on photon, etc). Not sure whatever happened to that rule, but it would have gone a long way to making them more useful.
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John Sowerby
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Tantive4 wrote:
I always wondered why you had to use the target lock on secondary weapons like torpedeos....if it was just a hold over from X-Wing.


It's thematic, I think. Most times Torps are used in the series, target locks are involved. I do think a good card would be a full spread card (mentioned before in other threads), allowing the use of Torps without a lock.
 
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Eric Chau
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Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.
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Obsolete Man
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Redeemer31 wrote:
Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.


That's what I was about to suggest as well.
 
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Requete wrote:
Redeemer31 wrote:
Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.


That's what I was about to suggest as well.


That puts Photons on a par with Plasmas, I think.
 
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Ender02 wrote:
We had a concept when testing an earlier version of the game to have torpedoes work as they do now OR have an option to fire at -2 dice attack power without the lock but get none of the special bonuses from the torpedo (so no reroll for plasma torps, no hit to crit on photon, etc). Not sure whatever happened to that rule, but it would have gone a long way to making them more useful.


I like the idea of dropping 2 dice (or .5 dice, round down) but I'd also allow the special features of the weapon to still apply, since the secondary is typically disabled after use.
 
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Sodoff Baldrick
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BradyLS wrote:
Requete wrote:
Redeemer31 wrote:
Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.


That's what I was about to suggest as well.


That puts Photons on a par with Plasmas, I think.


That would make plasmas just about worthless. Why take them at all, just take dominion torpedoes then.

I think a better solution would be to either fire them with a target lock and disable them OR fire with out and discard them. So you could use them in a pinch if you needed or be more skillful with you shots to reuse them. It would also be thematic to represent weapons crews being ready or shooting from the hip.
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Roy Stephens
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I don't think there is a problem. If you watch the later movie battles, like in Nemesis, there was a lot more phaser firing than torpedo firing.

If you play Star Trek Online, the torpedoes are actually quite similar to STAW's torpedoes: in a battle, your starship is maneuvering around, constantly firing phasers, but, when you fire a torpedo, it takes a few seconds to reload and only fires at the ship you are locked onto (which, in all fairness, your phasers do too.. unless your tactical officer is using the Fire At Will ability).

It would be nice if it felt like the standard pho-torps hit a little harder, but, in terms of game balance, they are fine in that they buff up the rear arcs of all ships that have them, and increase the attack of phaser-weak smaller ships.

There are certain concessions that have to be made to find the balance between thematic accuracy and fair game play. Let's be honest; if the game was rigidly loyal to theme, the Enterprise could never be destroyed, except by self-destruct, and even then all crew would survive... unless there is a rickety metal bridge on the planet to drop on Kirk.
 
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Mr S Baldrick wrote:
BradyLS wrote:
Requete wrote:
[q="Redeemer31"]Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.


That's what I was about to suggest as well.


That puts Photons on a par with Plasmas, I think.


That would make plasmas just about worthless. Why take them at all, just take dominion torpedoes then.

I think a better solution would be to either fire them with a target lock and disable them OR fire with out and discard them. So you could use them in a pinch if you needed or be more skillful with you shots to reuse them. It would also be thematic to represent weapons crews being ready or shooting from the hip.[/q

In this version, Plasmas would still get an additional reroll of the blanks.

The idea is to make torpedoes better without changing point values or card text. Allowing a spent TL to still provide a reroll is the way to do that.
 
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Here's my take on what makes torpedoes different to phasers and disruptors in the shows and movies.

1. Torpedoes are less accurate
2. Torpedoes have a lower rate of fire
3. Torpedoes do more damage
4. Torpedo damage is unaffected by range
5. Torpedoes can be fired at Warp Speed (unlike phasers)
6. Torpedoes don't expend any ship power
7. Torpedoes have more of a blast/shockwave effect

Perhaps the way to beef up torpedoes in comparison to phasers and disruptors would be to add some rules for the effects above not already modelled in the game.

Possible application of 5 above:

A ship that uses a 4 speed or greater manoeuvre may not fire its Primary Weapon that turn.

Possible application of 6 above:

Primary weapon fire has a -1 Attack Die penalty per Auxiliary Power token next to the ship.

Possible application of 7 above:

If target (of torpedo attack) has active shields, the 1st damage is absorbed by the shields, the 2nd goes on the hull, the 3rd on the shields, the 4th on the hull, and so on, until the shields are completely destroyed, at which point any remaining damage goes on the hull. In addition, Criticals are applied to the hull if possible - for instance if 2 Hits and 1 Critical are scored, a Hit goes on the shields, then the Critical goes on the hull, then the remaining Hit goes on the shields.
 
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Ender02 wrote:
We had a concept when testing an earlier version of the game to have torpedoes work as they do now OR have an option to fire at -2 dice attack power without the lock but get none of the special bonuses from the torpedo (so no reroll for plasma torps, no hit to crit on photon, etc). Not sure whatever happened to that rule, but it would have gone a long way to making them more useful.


Overall, I like this. But rather than "-2 dice" for firing without a lock, I'd suggest "half of your attack dice, rounded up" and keep the card effects in place since the weapon is still disabled after firing.

Another player I know would like to see Torpedoes/Plasmas be more of an all-or-nothing weapon in its effect. If one hit can reach the target after all modifications to the attack and defense rolls, then the full attack dice value of the card is applied as hits, plus whatever effects on the card. The down-side is that only half of the attack dice, rounded up, are rolled when making the attack.
 
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I have also toyed around with the idea of an "all-or-nothing" effect for torpedoes, similar to a "To Hit" roll followed by a "Damage" roll, but the more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that the easiest way to give players an incentive to use torpedoes is to realistically penalise Primary Weapons for the power drain they impose on the ship. That means imposing negative modifiers on Primary Weapon attacks for things like going fast ("Scotty, give me full impulse power now!") and taking Auxiliary Power tokens for engine-straining manoeuvres ("she canny take any more captain, the phaser banks are completely drained").

I can imagine players thinking their photon torpedo card looks a lot more useful once they realise that pulling off that hard left bank followed by a speed 4 straight ahead will impose several die-reductions on their Primary Weapon attack roll. Once this is realised, spending a Target Lock to loose off a torpedo with no die-reduction becomes the obvious best choice.
 
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NappyPlayer wrote:
I have also toyed around with the idea of an "all-or-nothing" effect for torpedoes, similar to a "To Hit" roll followed by a "Damage" roll, but the more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that the easiest way to give players an incentive to use torpedoes is to realistically penalise Primary Weapons for the power drain they impose on the ship. That means imposing negative modifiers on Primary Weapon attacks for things like going fast ("Scotty, give me full impulse power now!") and taking Auxiliary Power tokens for engine-straining manoeuvres ("she canny take any more captain, the phaser banks are completely drained").

I can imagine players thinking their photon torpedo card looks a lot more useful once they realise that pulling off that hard left bank followed by a speed 4 straight ahead will impose several die-reductions on their Primary Weapon attack roll. Once this is realised, spending a Target Lock to loose off a torpedo with no die-reduction becomes the obvious best choice.


This is interesting, too. I had wondered if maybe the Primaries (and Primary-type weapons, like E-D's 360º) were too powerful, given that no matter how much damage a ship takes, they fire at full strength turn after turn.

My thought was that every time a ship uses its Primary/Primary-type weapon, it would receive a "drain token" that reduced its value by one if fired on subsequent turns. And they would stack, turn after turn, each time the Primaries were used, so that if you used a Primary two turns in a row, for example, you'd lose two attack dice on the third turn in a row.

It would be fairly easy to shake off a drain token, however: 1) after doing a green maneuver; and/or 2) declaring that you are not firing the Primary for a turn (and fire a Secondary instead!); and/or 3) using a ship's action to discard a token. All of those can be done during a ship's Activation phase. Any one of them would shake off a token. A ship could conceivably shake off three drain tokens in one turn if they did all three things.

I can see objections: it impacts smaller ships hardest and essentially requires them to pick up a Secondary weapon if they're expected to be in a long fight (though it's easy to shake off tokens) and adds more book-keeping to the game. Added complication, too. ("Do I still take a token if I do 'Counterattack?' with my Primary?"[Shot answer: Yes. Anytime you use the Primary/Primary-type Weapon to roll attack dice.])

But nerfing the Primary value by a point for having an Aux token is an easy one to remember and may be fun to try.
 
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Requete wrote:
BradyLS wrote:
Requete wrote:
Redeemer31 wrote:
Would something like allowing torps to use the target lock re-roll be too powerful? Keeps it simple.

So you still need to get a target lock to use the torpedoes, but when you expend the TL to attack with your torpedoes, you get an automatic re-roll with that attack.


That's what I was about to suggest as well.


That puts Photons on a par with Plasmas, I think.


In this version, Plasmas would still get an additional reroll of the blanks.

The idea is to make torpedoes better without changing point values or card text. Allowing a spent TL to still provide a reroll is the way to do that.


Er...But we have a rule that says dice can only be re-rolled once, unless specifically allowed by card text. The card would have to be clearer about that, I think. (Re-rolling blanks for the card and BSs for the TL, for example.)

Anyway, that wouldn't be bad, either. It just seems that there wouldn't be much difference between a Plasma and a Photon other than name—and range considerations.

---

Something else altogether different that would make Secondaries more useful—especially those requiring TLs— would simply be to allow one disabled card on a ship to be re-enabled automatically during the Activation phase each turn. Or, if that's too strong and action-like, maybe to allow it if the ship performed a green maneuver that turn. Still too strong? Then only if the green maneuver was not also used to shed an AUX token.
 
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Larry DeStefano
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I think that people forget that torps give no +1 green defense die to the target when used.

I think the biggest problem with torps is after the first firing they are a two action needed to bring back online. I have been thinking that torps should use a FIRED marker that at the end of the turn flips to a RELOADING side and at the end of that turn is removed and the weapon is ready to fire again. Provided you have a TL on the target ship. I think this would be thematically more correct and maybe help to see more use of torps. I do feel they were designed to be used within specific range bands. Feds at range 3 and Romulans at close 1-2 range. I still tend to load them because I like my fed ships to have that sting in the tail.

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER
 
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David Griffin
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Why not except them from the action economy by allowing them to auto enable. That is put two disabled tokens on the when fired. At the clean up stage remove one automatically. When they are clear, you can fire again.

If you did that and made them all or nothing, you have Star Fleet Battles. If you further allowed them to overload with a range of 1-2 by using an action, you have restored the fear that Klingons feel when they're approached by a Connie in SFB.
 
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